I have worshipped Anne Lamott since I read “Bird by Bird” in 1999. Her writing grabbed me in a way that no other writers have–she is real, flawed, and spiritual.
I want to be her when I grow up.
She writes snapshots on Facebook, and since I liked her page, they show up in my news feed. In December, her theme has been “radical self-care.” As a writer by profession, she often shares her neuroses over reviews and sales of her books. As a woman, she often shares her insecurities (many of which are driven by an unforgiving media culture).
I’ve thought a lot about her phrase “radical self-care” this month. I do not practice this. Rather, I push myself–physically, spiritually, emotionally–to the absolute breaking point. Then I glue myself back together only to start the path to the breaking point all over again.
So as I say goodbye to 2012 and launch into 2013, this is my goal: radical self-care. What does this look like?
- Teaching myself to not feel guilty when I take time to work out–too often I just talk myself out of working out altogether because of my workload.
- Enjoying chocolate.
- Utilizing my work day better so when I get home, I can read or watch a movie or practice the piano or learn to crochet.
- Being more social.
- Use my light therapy lamp.
- Stop negative self-talk.
One important element of this theme that Lamott has shared with her Facebook fans is the verb that often precedes “radical self-care”–it’s “practice.” Much like yoga enthusiasts say they “practice yoga” (not “do,” not “go to,” but “practice”), Lamott often writes about practicing radical self-care.
This verb is itself radical self-care, for it allows for failures. It allows for me to look ahead to the musical and realize I very well might forgo working out for sleep, and might not have time to be social. It reminds me that try as I might, I’m going to have bad days.
And that is okay.
So I’m stealing from Anne Lamott this year: I’m approaching 2013 with the perspective of radical self-care. I’ve been mean to myself for too long.